Chocolate Kahlua & Orange Vegan Trifle

I created this trifle because deep rich chocolate and orange are a great marriage – it’s like one is making love to the other, and the merging of tastes is indeed a culinary joy !  In any event, treat yourself, guests and family, at the tail end of this summer (no matter what the weather is like outdoors) to this very chocolate kahlua  & orange trifle – and you will find yourself feeling just a trifle proud at the end of the day.

I have had many a delightful trifle in my day – non-vegan, vegetarian, you name it – it’s incidental that this one is vegan because as it happens, it tastes better than all of them put together ! Oh, and it’s not difficult to make – it’s cholesterol-free and no animal products are used.  What fun !


  • You will need to buy, or make, a ready vegan sponge cake (or muffins).  Use the equivalent of 2 muffins cut into ½”  slices – cover & set aside
  • 1 packet of orange jelly (vegan of course)
  • the juice of one orange
  • the zest of one orange
  • a few swigs of Kahlua
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder for dusting
  • nut milk, or vegan milk, for the jelly
  • 1 pint chocolate custard, made with 60% vegan milk, 40% water
  • 2½ tbsps cornstarch
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsps agave syrup
  • 1 tub vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
  • 3 tbsps soya cream


You will need a glass trifle bowl for this, around 9 inches across.  Firstly make your jelly according to the packet instructions, except substitute half the water with vegan milk, and the rest with the juice of one freshly squeezed orange and water.  Allow the jelly to cool off for 15 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, place the sponge slices on the base of the glass bowl.  When ready, pour the jelly on top of the slices.  Then sprinkle on the orange zest and dust with the cinnamon powder.  Place the jelly mix in the fridge for one hour, or until it sets.  When this happens, you are ready to make the thick chocolate custard.

In the meantime, make the chocolate custard as follows.  Prepare a pint mixture of vegan milk and water (60% milk, 40% water).  Mix the cornstarch and cocoa powder in a small bowl, with about 2 tablespoons taken from the pint of liquid.   Add the agave nectar to the remaining milk and heat to nearly boiling, then pour onto the chocolate mix, stirring well.  Return to the saucepan, and bring to the boil over a gentle heat, stirring continuously.  Then allow to cool off for 5 minutes, mixing intermittently, in order that a skin does not form on the top.

Once the jelly has set, pour a few swigs of kahlua on top of it, but don’t overdo it.  Then pour over your thick chocolate custard, and allow to cool at room temperature for a further 15 minutes.  Finally place in the fridge for several hours, or overnight.

Then in a medium sized bowl, whisk your tofutti cream cheese, with the agave syrup.  It must not become a liquid, and needs to remain a little on the thick side.  Gently spoon over your set trifle, making sure you cover the entire surface.  Place in the fridge for an hour, then dust some cocoa powder on top for decoration.  Refrigerate again for at least another hour before serving.  It will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days (though if our household in anything to judge by, I doubt it will last that long !)  Have fun eating it, and savour the wonderful flavours.  Enjoy !

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  1. OH this is gonna be on the menu next weekend for sure, for sure looks divine ! choc and orange mmmmmmmmm

  2. Hi Miriam, another lovely looking recipe.
    You mention, towards the end of the recipe, “whisk the cream cheese with the maple syrup” but maple syrup isn’t listed in the ingredients! Can you help?
    I’d really like to make this for my husband’s birthday later this month.
    Cheers, Nina

  3. Nina Hi there, thanks for your comment – apologies for the maple syrup, have corrected it to agave, which is what I used. That said, maple syrup will also work well with this. Always check for sweetness – people vary in their taste for sweetness, some people’s ‘sweet’ is someone else’s ‘not at all sweet’. But here is just about as sweet as we like it here. Let me know how it goes – this is a great birthday treat ! Await your future feedback. Cheers to you !

  4. Let me know how it goes Enisa, hope you enjoy it as much as we have ! Await your feedback as and when. Cheers !

  5. This recipe is unbelievable!!! Must to try it…

  6. HI Alma and thanks for your comment. Yes, do try this trifle and you will be hooked ! It’s wonderfully full of flavour!! Look forward to your future comments. Cheers !

  7. Hi Miriam,
    Just wanted to say: You are such a grace!

  8. Hi Hassan – thanks for your kind words. Best.

  9. This looks amazing I can not wait to wow my family with it. Can you tell me what •1 packet of orange jelly means? I’m in the states so i always have to convert everything but I can not figure out what the packet means lol Thank you! 🙂

  10. Lorali Hi there, I think that Jelly is Jello in the States – here is a link for you
    Hope this helps and let me know how this trifle goes down with your wonderful family. Cheers to you and look forward to your future comment/s.

  11. hmmm is there an alternative? Because Jellp is not vegan 🙁 Thanks you so much!

  12. Thanks Flavia !

  13. Flavia thank you for that. By all means post up the agar-agar jelly/jello recipe for those who might be interested in making it with agar. Cheers to you and thanks for your comments. Look forward to hearing back from you having tasted it – it usually tastes the best the day after !

  14. Some Jellies are vegan, others are not – in the States I know they are called Jellos, but wouldn’t know which ones are vegan, so you’ll have to google or research on that front. Please see Flavia’s comment for help – she is from the States and has commented favorably here. Thanks and hope you get to make it soon, as look forward to your feedback. Cheers !

  15. This one looks divine! Chocolate and orange is my fave combination:) Congrats on yet another mouth-watering dessert.

  16. Adya Hi there and thanks for your wonderful comment – I would love for you to try this at some point and come back and comment – reason being you love chocolate I know and it would be good to have your view. Best to you !.

  17. Would love to make this Miriam but I don’t think I’d get a vegan sponge cake here. Not sure if I’ll attempt making one or not, but still enjoyed looking!

  18. Marie, Hi and thanks for your comment. You can always make a simple type of cake – my chocolate one is moist and very apt for this, here is the recipe for it (omit the colouring) – if you can spare a little time, then it’ll be worth while. Enjoy and get back to me as and when.

  19. I made this last month and LOVED it. I don’t normally eat trifle because I hate fruit in desserts so your recipe is perfect. Your lemon and lime coconut cake is on my radar too!

  20. Hi there Mel and welcome here – great to have your delightful comment, am so pleased you enjoyed it last month. Let me know how the other recipes here go down with you. Cheers and Happy Holidays to you !

  21. Hi Miriam
    Ran out of time to make this for Christmas. Was thwarted by the company that makes vegan jelly not making an orange flavoured one.. for future reference- I have some agar agar powder- do you by any chance have a suggestion as to how to make orange jelly with that? I checked out orange essence, and the first ingredient listed was propylene glycol- no idea why they used that but ewwww- don’t fancy eating it… have you experimented with agar & flavours at all? Its summer here so some jellies would be fab!

  22. Marie Hi there and thanks for your comment – I haven’t had the need to make the Jelly from Agar Flakes, but here is a recipe for you – I found this some time ago
    I hope this helps, it’s pretty basic, and in order to err on the cautious side make your tablespoons heaped ones so that it sets nicely. You won’t need any essence just freshly squeezed orange juice for the liquid mixed with water. I suggest you make enough for 4 people, in which case this recipe should work well. Best to you !

  23. Thanks Miriam, thats great, and can substitute any fruit juice to make different flavours, for summer jellies 🙂

  24. Hi Marie, yes you may and hope you enjoy the different flavours you can create. Cheers to you !

  25. this looks absolutely delicious!

  26. Thanks for that V and I do hope you make and enjoy this !

  27. Do you have a recipe somewhere for a vegan spongecake? There are no premade vegan cakes available where I live.

  28. I am not even a vegetarian but I am going to try this out! It looks so much fun!!!

  29. Hi there Mikki and welcome here. Here is a recipe of mine for muffins – omit the fruit filling, proceed with the recipe and once the sponge has cooled off, use it for the trifle base. Hope this helps a little. Best to you and look forward to your feedback. Cheers ! Here is the link to my muffins (which has been used in the past by a friend to make a sponge cake)

  30. Kristian Hi there and welcome here. Thanks for dropping by with your comment and all humans are welcome here, vegan and non-vegan and everything else in-between – these days even non-vegans have a variety of recipes in their diet some of which do not always necessarily include meat or dairy. Do let me know how it goes and hope you enjoy it ! I look forward to your future comments and feedbgack on my blog. Best Wishes to you !

  31. Mikki here is the link again separately incase you didn’t receive it the 1st time round for making a vegan sponge from my muffin recipe

  32. Miriam , you are the fairy of the heavenly food world.

  33. Hi there Patrizia and welcome here. What kind words, thanks so much for putting a huge smile on my face today !!! Hope you enjoy my recipes. Best wishes your way !

  34. Michael (from Facebook)

    Shared on Facebook! 🙂

    Yes, chocolate and orange do go well together, and this sweet treat represents them well! 🙂

    By the way, do you have a recipe for Vegan sponge cake? 🙂

  35. Hi Michael, here is a recipe for muffins – use the batter and make a sponge from the batter recipe
    Hope this helps and best wishes your way !!!

  36. Christy Fondevilla

    great ending to my party menu! and it’s cholesterol free! Thanks!

  37. Christy Hi there and welcome here. I am delighted to have that feedback and look forward to your future comments here ! Enjoy !

  38. Looks fantastic. Its just a shame that vegan orange jelly and muffins are hard to find near me. I used some lemon and vegan cake alternatives, and added coconut milk as my vegan milk. It tasted great even though the texture wasn’t perfect. But thanks so much for the inspiring recipe

  39. Hi there D.Seot – may be you needed to increase the custard powder for a denser easier to cut trifle finish. Glad you enjoyed it though.


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